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Points to Ask Phlebotomist Certificate or Degree Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Prichard AL as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Prichard AL job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Prichard AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Alabama school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Prichard AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Prichard AL medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prichard AL, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.